Friday, June 23, 2006

Video games in da house!

"Seriously the house of represenatives is filled with insane jackasses."

John Stewert is great...I love that guy. Good story about how utterly stupid this whole legislation of video games is getting. Just nuts.

playtest is going well today...finding a lot of stuff that needs fixin...and that is a good playtest. But is still stresses me out and makes me sad. wierd how that works.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

you want a toe? I can get you a toe dude...

Today is Thursday June 22nd and we are 1 day away from our next playtest. I think I have a pretty good handle on this whole playtest thing now, so it is not as stressful as the others have been…the playtest part that is. There is still a bunch of stress related to the finishing of this game. We are still months from alpha, but it is not far from my mind. It is pretty hard to get far from my mind as I am reminded of our dwindling number of days every few hours by various members of the team. :)

So the playtest….we are putting two new levels through the ringer as well as on of our bopss encounters…the first to be play tested. It is actually a pretty big deal but since it is the first time it will be played I am not expected anything too great. Bosses usually take a few passes to really hone in on the fun. We worked on the Minotaur boss for like 5 months or something crazy like that…it might have been more but the last project is getting a little foggy…difficult to see through the haze of GOW2 stress. Anyway, the team has been putting in some hours getting the levels ready. It’s funny how things work in games. You spend a large amount opf time before a deadline feeling like you are just treading water, it seems like things are getting done but the game is still in pieces. Then…like a college student cramming for a final…the team works a mad week before the deadline and everything comes together and all is right in the world. Now that isn’t to say that people are not doing anything the whole month…far from it. They are making all the pieces and the last week is everyone putting those pieces together. I think no matter how many times I go through it…I will still get freaked out the week before the deadline thinking we are never gonna’ make it. ‘Me of little faith’ I guess. Sometimes I think I feed off the feeling of working without a net or something.

Heard some more music this week and that got me pumped. I can’t wait to start hearing some of the tracks in the cinematics as well. That is still a ways off I think, but I am looking forward to it. Speaking of cinematics I sat with the cinematics dept. yesterday to go over the VO that was placed in the scenes. It was better than before but it still sounded different than when we recorded. I was on a conference call listening to the playback of the sessions…not the ideal conditions for hearing the nuances of a performance. The good thing is I know we have what we need to make the scenes work, so that is a slight bit of stress relived.

I am heading off to do the final tuning on the levels for tomorrow so that is all I have right now.

And steph…you are crazy with the myspace accounts…I love it. Stella the diabolical beta rocks. Oh yeah, I set up a myspace account…its dorky I know…but that is how I roll. And thanks to Steph I have lots of friends and a whopping 104 viewings of my profile. Man…I really am a popular guy. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to let the fame go to my head. Ha!

Holy shit...MCHammer has a blog...that is so dope. And he has pictures of him and Mr. T on it. SWEET! I am all over this one! He signs all his blog posts off with --hammertime.


I am going to rock out like that too.


ok that actually sounds really gay...I won't do that anymore.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


There are some pretty good news stories today. I ran across this one and it made me laugh. I can't believe this game is still in production...and shockingly it looks as if it will still be in production through the year into the next. Too Human had a cover story in EGM that claimed the game was 10 years in the making...but in reality it has only been in production for the 360 for a few years or so. But this game will have truely been in prodcution for 10 years if it slips to next year. Man...think about that...10 years working on the same game. I honestly don't think I could maintain focus and enthusiasm for that long. I would probably give up...because there is just no way the game could live up to the expectations of a 10 year development cycle. Or maybe it willl...maybe it will come out and redefine the gaming universe...I doubt it though...and anyone who sacrificed for that long will be terribly dissapointed.

Also another great little article about some gaming addiction detox center in Amsterdam. That is some serious gaming love that one must have to facilitate the need for such a place. But with all those stories of people dying from playing games three or four days straight, it appears there is a need for a place like this.


SpikeTV was in the office shooting some stuff for a show on God of should be pretty sweet. You will get to see some new footage of the game and some extra stuff as well as check out the Santa Monica studios. I am not sure of the air date...but when I know more I will let you all know. I think it is sometime in July.


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Derek Daniels, one of the combat designers on God of War 2, did a really cool write up on why some games just feel better than others. He is actually doing a series of write ups about this...the latest one is on the jump. I love jumping. the combat guys make fun of me for my love of jumping in games...but I just keep on jumping.

If you have any interest in game design or understanding the games you play and why they are good I would recommend reading it. Plus, Derek is a vegetarian. I have no idea what that has to do with anything...but I typed it...and being someone who doesnt really believe in the delete key all that much..I'm sticking with it. So just read it, you're kids with thank you.

Or check out the comment battle Dave and I have going...but root for me 'cause I am gonna kick his ass. Then I will probably get fired.:) Sweet. time to sleep.

Day four on the floor

Okay so the day count thing is getting kind of old...I think today will be the last of the day counts.

Ooooh I’m gonna’ ramble a lot today. It's day four (last time I swear) of my newfound smoke-free lifestyle and I am inspired to just partake in a little stream of consciousness rant. It may not make much sense…but that is how I roll. Like a rock star.

I’m with you guys when it comes to the ideas of parents regulating the media their kids take in. I am so not a supporter of organizations (private or governmental) or people trying to impose their belief system on the general populace. I am happy for people who feel that video games are morally reprehensible and they will never play them…that is fine with me. But when they try to push their own belief system on everyone I think it is truly a sign of our de-evolution. Jack Thompson is another in a long series of poster boys (and girls) for the downfall of our free thought and expression. I mean you Have Tipper gore, Sen. Lieberman, Jack Thompson…and so on. These are just sad little people trying to gain favor of the majority by pushing the blame to the creators of media and entertainment.

Now…I am no media lover when it comes to the news. But I don’t blame the media for stupid people. I mean there are so many uninformed people that are products of the “If it bleeds it leads” news media…but in the end it is because they are too lazy too seek out other sources of research to truly understand something. It is not the fault of the news…they are trying to gain a market share and stay profitable. So they forgo real journalism and focus on the big money headline stories about Brad and Jennifer and all that other drivel. But again…they are not to blame for stupid people.

The same is true for movies/TV/games. Are the makers of the entertainment responsible for what your kids watch? I can’t see how. Just as the makers of fast food are not responsible for you kid eating cheeseburgers every day. It is the parents who should bear the burden of talking about these movies/TV/games with their kids. When you hide, censor or otherwise attempt to prevent your children from seeing something…they will seek it out…and they will do so without the guidance and open discussion they should have from their parents. If they do not understand the difference between fantasy and reality…then the makers of the fantasy are not to blame. That is something that must be instilled by the parents. That would be like blaming those who wrote the bible because little jimmy, who can’t swim, decided to try walking on water out in the family pool. Well never mind the idea that if little jimmy can’t swim, so he probably can’t read…so that analogy is pretty shaky…but you get the point.

That isn’t to say that there are not things that kids should not see….but that is what a ratings system is for. I am totally behind the idea of the ratings system, when it works. This allows parents to make an informed purchase and gives them an understanding of what exactly they are allowing their kids to play. But if the parents are not involved with their kids life…if they do not communicate with them about the movies/TV/games they play…then we have the righteous Jack Thompson’s of the world riding in on their political white horse ready to blame everyone but the parents for the actions of the child. That is just lame.

Should we blame the classic gangster movies for the rise of organized crime? I definitely thought about becoming a mobster with a therapist after I saw sopranos…it was so appealing. Actually I did not think of becoming a mobster. And I have never played a game and then thought…I am going to go out and do that. This is because I was given a good foundation as to what is right and what is wrong.

In the end…it is all just a scape-goat. Blame whatever you can to explain something that you do not understand or something so horrible you don’t want to understand. Rock on…lets all do that. I mean human beings have been doing it since the dawn of man anyway. Hell that is how most religions were founded. Well that and fear I guess. But that is another story entirely.

Most likely I am totally off base here...but that is how I roll. All your base...are belong to us.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

and on the third day...

Day three is about to come to a close. I haven’t had any cravings to smoke so that is good but unfortunately the nausea and dizziness still remain. A small price to pay to avoid some lung cancer. Though I have been smoking off and on for 15 I could already have it. Oye…I am not even going to think about that.

I finished the recording session this morning feeling pretty good. I think we got everything we need…though we pretty much had to since that was the last session we had in the contract for this guy. But I remain positive that all will turn out good. We should be getting back the files from the session by Friday so I will know for sure then.

Hey Dutch…it is cool that you got the soundtrack even though you don’t normally get them. Rest assured that we are going to kick the ass of the first soundtrack. We have all the original composers from the first game and they are cranking out stuff now that just takes it all to the next level. Man that sounds like hype. I’m not trying to bullshit you or anything…but it is pretty good.

Well it is almost 6pm...I have a meeting with the visual development guys and then I will probably head home. I am so not an early riser. I had to wake up at 6am today in order to get into the studio for the session…and yet I was still late. I just don’t handle the mornings well. I have tons of respect for those of you who can wake up early and be productive…I am more inclined to staying up late though.

The ESA is going to sue Minnesota over some law that fines underage kids 25 bucks for buying M rated and AO rated games. Hmm…you think if they could catch them buying the game in order to fine them…then they would just be able to prevent them from buying it in the first place…right? The best part is that they require the retailers to post a sign in 30 point font saying that there will be a penalty to purchasing these games if you are under 18. Nice...I can only imagine how long the debates ran when it came to deciding on how big the font should be. 25? Nooo...much too small. Well how about 65??? are you crazy...that is just overkill. Either way…I have decided to sue California because they have created an environment that suppresses my right to the pursuit of happiness. It would make me happy to have a house, but california house prices are too expensive. Well I want something in I guess I can't sue California as a whole. I will just sue L.A. Then I will sue everyone who is selling a house for an outragous price. Yeah...that'll be sweet. Sueing kicks ass!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day two

...of the ‘quit smoking’ crusade. The patch makes me nauseous. I tried to quit before, and found that I got really irritable and nauseous from the patch. I feel a little nauseous and dizzy now, but this time I am going to just deal with it as I really don’t want to have to quit again. The good thing is I had half a bottle of wine last night, and no desire for a cigarette. So I past the first mini test as drinking and smoking go together so well with me.

I just got out of a conference call with one of the actors who is voicing a character in the game. This guy is pretty well known and has done several movies that I am a huge fan of so it was a pretty cool experience to be chatting with him about the story behind and growth of the character. It is kind of dorky, but I had a real sense of accomplishment during the conversation…like I had finally accomplished something. This story that I and the other writers have worked so hard to craft is finally coming to life. To add to it, it is being brought to life by some pretty great actors. It really is pretty exciting. It really makes me feel thankful that I have the job that I have.

I have a music meeting in a few minutes to go over the latest tracks the composers have delivered so that should be good. Every time I hear new music I get even more inspired with what we are doing. I mean when you see a level that is near complete from an art perspective you really get a sense of the mood of the level, but when you get the music in there…you really see how the level is going to feel…or make you feel to be more precise.

All right…gotta go.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I want Guitar Hero 2...

Now. I love the songs in the first one...but I want new ones. A little guns and roses maybe!! Man that would be a level of sweetness that would be beyond comprehension.

It has been awhile since my last post. I’m afraid that those few of you that follow this blog will just have to bear with me as I try to get better at documenting things in this blog.

BIG NEWS! I quit smoking today. I am rocking the Clear nicoderm CQ patch. Hopefully it will give me wicked nightmares when I wear it at night. That would be fun. Well maybe for a day or so..then it would just suck. I have been running myself into the ground lately and consequently have been getting sick a lot more. So I figured it was about time to give up the nasty habit. I have a quit a few times before…so I hope this time sticks. It will certainly make the next few stress filled week a whole hell of a lot more interesting. I hope I don’t piss too many people off with my ‘more than normal’ mood swings.

So let’s see. We are moving forward like a freakin’ freight train with the game. I was able to see two levels that have nearly 80% level of polish art on them and they look freakin’ sweet!! I need that little pick me up as things are getting even more hectic entering into the last months of the project. Well last months to alpha really. We still don’t ship until next year, but we have a huge task to hit our alpha milestone.

I did some re-recording of some of the voice over stuff last week. I was fully in the throes of sickness so waking up at 6:45 to make a meeting in the recording studio at 7:45 was rough. But we were able to get some good stuff so that made up for it. I just hope this all works out. I fought pretty hard to get some of the voices we have in the game…and I can sense the doubt about some of them working out. I still remain confident that it will work out…but if it doesn’t I am going to look like a supreme asshole. I know that sounds like a pretty revered title…but sadly it is not so good. So here is to hoping I don’t fuck it up.:)

We are heavily focusing on two of our bosses from the game right now. One of them is farther along in the process and nearly to the stage of fight tuning…which is awesome for me! I actually get to sit down and do some real work on the game. The tuning of the fights and play experience is really the true ‘hands on’ work for me. I do so many other things on the game that are important, but they are still all about the planning phase. So any time I get to sit down and get my hands dirty is a good time.

I haven’t been able to play to many games lately. Partly because of work, but also because I have been so exhausted when I get home that I just don’t feel like thinking. I just want to throw on a movie or TV show and collapse on the couch. I hope quitting smoking will give me some more energy. Man that is pretty fucking sad when you say you are too tired to sit on the couch and play a video game. Seriously…I think I will punch myself for that one.

Well my lunch is almost over and I have to do an interview at 2 so I will end this one here. I have a recording session tomorrow so I will try and do an update and chat a bit about that.

Oh…I saw Rent this weekend. Man…I have no idea what came over me in the video store. For some reason I picked this up thinking it would be good…but after about 20 minutes I had to just shut it off. Sometimes musicals are ok…and other times they make you want to rip you own eyeballs out with a cocktail fork. This was actually worse than the ripping of the eyes with a cocktail fork. It was bad. Sorry to all of those who liked it…but it was just a mentally scarring experience that I am sure will take me a long time to get over.